Vulcans will keep running


GE Coleman has got one offensive philosophy: Go, go, go. His resolve is equally unwavering.

So even after watching the University of Hawaii at Hilo surrender almost 100 points and 63 percent shooting last weekend to BYU-Hawaii, there will be no slowdown in store, at least not offensively, for the rematch.

“We definitely want to push it,” Coleman said. “Defensively is where we want teams to work a little more sometimes.”

The Sea Warriors, who beat the Vulcans 99-79 last Saturday in Laie, Oahu, visit UH-Hilo Gym at 7:30 p.m. today in what will be the Vulcans’ last game of 2013.

“Very skilled across the board,” Coleman said of the Seasiders. “They got a lot of high-percentage shots because we didn’t do a good job of limiting open looks. They keep you off-balanced.”

UH-Hilo (3-6, 0-3 Pacific West Conference) has lost four straight, including all three during an Oahu road trip to open the league season. Coleman said that by the end of the trip Wednesday against Hawaii Pacific, the Vulcans had the look of a team that was playing its third game in five nights.

“With any young team with a lot of newcomers, you have to have a certain focus to win on the road,” Coleman said. “We’re still learning what we need to do on the road. We play a little better at home.”

They didn’t practice during a travel day Thursday, but the team was back at it Friday for what the first-year coach called a hard practice.

“We’ve got some things to catch up on,” Coleman said. “We’ve got to get a little more efficient offensively and at times execute better defensively and understand our rotations.”

After today UH-Hilo will probably get more rest than it wants. Between finals and the NCAA-mandated dark period, it won’t play again until Jan. 2 against Dixie State at home.

The balanced Seasiders (2-3, 1-0), who haven’t played since beating the Vulcans, have four players averaging double figures in scoring. Sophomore forward Jordan Ngatai leads the way with 12.8 points per game, including 17 last Saturday.

Coleman said UH-Hilo will be without injured guard Jamario Clayton for the third straight game, zapping the Vulcans of some of their explosiveness. Junior guards Darnell Williams and Joey Rodriguez lead UH-Hilo in scoring, with both averaging a little more than 12 points per game. Senior forward Brandon Thomas (9.2 points per game) leads the team in rebounding (7.7).

At 5 p.m. today, the Lady Vulcans (1-3, 0-2) seek their first league victory of the season against winless BYU-Hawaii (0-5, 0-0).

As expected, senior Kamie Imai has done a little of everything, leading UH-Hilo in points (13.5 per game), rebounds (7.5) and assists (3.0). Junior guard Kirstie Williams saw her first action of the season during the Vuls’ 0-2 Oahu road trip and produced 20 points on five 3-pointers.

“Our guard play has been good and we’ve been getting good shots,” UH-Hilo coach David Kaneshiro said. “We just haven’t been hitting them. I like the way we’ve played. Now we just have to execute.”

Senior guard Danna Lynn Hooper ranks 14th in the PacWest with 13.4 points per game to lead BYU-Hawaii.